Baseball: Northwood 10, Chapel Hill 0:
Published: Mar 10, 2013 04:31 PM
Modified: Mar 10, 2013 04:33 PM
PITTSBORO - Northwood Coach Rick Parks saw positives and negatives about the Chargers’ 10-0 win against Chapel Hill last week.
Positive: Northwood won the game in six innings, shortened by high schools’ 10-run rule as soon as Justin King lined an RBI single between short and third base to drive in Adam Lowe.
Negative: that Northwood failed to end the game in the fifth.
“We left way too many men on base,” Parks noted.
Northwood left the bases loaded in each of the first three innings Thursday and left two men on base in the fourth and fifth. The Chargers produced 12 hits; half of those came with men in scoring position.
None of that bothered the Chargers too much after they improved to 2-1 in the young season. After all, if they could rack up that many hits and runs against a 3A program that’s been to the state playoffs in each of Randy Trumbower’s first three years as a CHHS head coach, then they must be doing something right.
“We’re meshing together pretty well, and we’re communicating well,” Northwood’s Andrew Webster said after going 2-for-4 at the plate. “We’re all hitting well and the pitching is good.
“This whole team has played together pretty much since we were 9, 10 years old. That really helps. Having 11 seniors — that helps, too.”
“Northwood is a good team; that’s why they went to the fifth round of the tournament last year,” Trumbower said. “We knew coming in here that this was a tough set-up.”
Thursday’s freezing conditions, with frequent winds out of the north driving temperatures down into the lower 30s, did little to help Chapel Hill get untracked.
Northwood’s Robert Straughn, who pitched for two wins in the Chargers’ playoff run to the regionals last year, threw four innings of no-hit baseball to record Thursday’s decision. He struck out seven and walked three Tigers. And he seemed to get stronger as the night grew colder, retiring the last six batters he faced and needing just 12 pitches to get out of the fourth inning.
Luke Ciocca took the loss.
Kevin Elefante got Chapel Hill’s lone hit — a towering double into left field with two outs in the top of the sixth.
He got to third before Northwood reliever Jordan Riggsbee ended the inning, and the game, with a strikeout.
“We knew if we made a mistake against Kevin he’d make us pay for it. He’s a great hitter,” said Parks, who serves as general manager of the American Legion team for which Elefante played last year.
Chapel Hill didn’t help itself by committing six errors.
Northwood got off to a great start in the first, when the Chargers batted around in order.
Andrew Webster blasted a twisting triple to right-center for the game’s first hit, followed by back-to-back doubles into center by Jonathan McKee and Riggsbee.
Webster ended up 2-for-4 with an RBI, while lead-off man Adam Lowe was 3-5 with three singles and one RBI. Ross Cooper went 2-3 with two sacrifices.
Notably, Dylan Stasko reached base four times on Chapel Hill errors, and two Charger runs were scored directly off errors.
“Northwood was just better than we were tonight,” Trumbower said. “We didn’t hit and we made six errors. It just wasn’t a good game for us, offensively or defensively.”
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